Finding a 'perfect' tie-break is a pretty inexact science in most sports. The better ones at least still have some notion of the game remaining as a contest, rather than just stopping at some point and declaring a winner. So the tie-breaking method to decide the Cricket World Cup was pretty poor by this standard. The game was tied after 50 overs, and then tied after the "Super Over", which is the equivalent of a penalty shootout. The trophy was then awarded to England on 'most boundaries scored' which sounds like something chosen by a committee who didn't think it would ever be required. In chess terms this would be like deciding a drawn World Championship match on "most number of checks". The most obvious result would have been to share the trophy, which is a policy that I've also been in favour of in a lot of chess events I've been involved in. But failing that, "head to head", "least wickets lost", or "finishing position" would have all probably made more sense.
With so many GM's these days (over 1000 at least), trying to stand out is harder and harder. In the good old days (ie 1980's) you could earn a reputation by playing openings like the Scandinavian or the Scotch. As these openings have now gone mainstream, players need to do more than that. The recent trend is to eschew what would be considered more 'classical' positional ideas and instead focus on the initiative. In some circumstances it works, and is very entertaining when it does, but it can be just as entertaining when it doesn't. In the following game Black is very intent on giving up material for an attack. White's position is solid enough that he could have taken the offered piece on move 18, but waited until move 23 before doing so. Despite Black having open lines and plenty of pawns, his attack went nowhere, and it was White, with good old fashioned central control and better developed pieces that won.
Two days ago I was reading a complaint about how GM Igor Rausis was using the "400 point rule" to game the FIDE Rating System. The claim was that he was playing lots of weak players to gain around 1 rating point per game, boosting his rating 20 well over 2600. But within 24 hours that went from a complaint about manipulating the rating system to a very credible accusation of using a mobile phone during a tournament game. Based on subsequent reports and admissions by Rausis, it looks as though he is 'banged to rights'. It seems that Rausis was already under suspicion based on previous tournament games, and so was being monitored at his latest event. This monitoring turned up fairly clear evidence he was using a phone during the game, and as a consequence he is now facing charges from the FIDE Ethics Commission.
The 2019 Oceania Seniors is taking place in New Zealand, as part of a chess festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club. The 23 player field consists mainly of NZ players, but there are 3 Australian players taking part. The first round saw only one upset (Nigel Cooper beating Nigel Metge), but I expect more upsets to occur over the next few rounds. Unlike most open events the field is quite compact in terms of rating, so a winner from the 7 round event isn't easy to predict. The tournament crosstable can be found here, while there is live broadcast (and replays) of the top 9 boards at this link.
To call someone a "pawn pusher" is usually considered an insult, but not always. I know some chess players who regard "pawn pusher" or "wood pusher" as a completely accurate character description. On the other hand, if you make a habit of pushing too many pawns, then the following may happen
Tal,Mihail - Tringov,Georgi P [B06] Amsterdam Interzonal Amsterdam (23), 21.06.1964
The more I play chess, the less I seem to blog about it. Instead of coming up with something suitably 'chessy' I'd like to congratulate the New Zealand Cricket team for winning their World Cup semi final against India. But to at least have some chess content, India's attempts to get over the line reminded me of trying to mate your opponent after blundering a piece in the opening. In India's case is was more than one piece, but as in chess, the margin of error was so narrow that once more wickets fell, it was all over.
While not endorsing what is clearly a marketing pitch I feel I do have to share this. "Getting a home loan is like mastering a game of chess" I'm not sure that I agree with the headline, but as someone who has had a few home loans in my time, it does take a little skill to organise one. What I did notice though, is that it is easier to get them after you have already had one, which I guess is the same as chess, in that it is easier to play after you've already played lots of games. (**Disclaimer: Don't ever take financial advice from me **)
"Hasten slowly" is a favourite saying of my father, and one that could apply to my chess. I travelled up to Sydney to play in the 2019 NSW Rapidplay and a combination of good luck and a favourable draw saw me finish on 5.5/7 ( a share of third place). The strategy I decided to employ for this event was to head for simpler positions than I usually aim for in the opening, as at the faster time control (20m+10s) meant that time for calculating complicated variations was limited. Ultimately this strategy paid off, although in a few games a draw might have been a fairer result. One game that demonstrates how this work was my round 5 game against Ralph Shaw. While seeded a fair way below me, Ralph was having a good tournament (we were both on 3/4 at this stage), so I decided to be a little cautious in how I went.
The 2019 Tour de France has snuck up on me, but I did catch part of the first stage. Apart from the beautiful French scenery, there will of course be the obligatory "chess on wheels" comments from the media. If you can't get (or don't want) the television coverage, I always find The Guardian's live blog entertaining and informative.
While the end of a chess game usually involves a polite handshake, this is not the case in other games. Apparently getting into your opponents face is a thing in some e-sports, and this then can escalate into something worse. https://www.kotaku.com.au/2019/07/fighting-game-tournament-has-too-much-actual-fighting/ describes this issue at a recent event. But what surprises me is the article suggests that one cause is the fact that the players are close to each other, as opposed to being separated like in other events. If this were so, then there would be a lot more punching at chess tournament, which there isn't. Instead, have a look in the (NSFW) comments section for more accurate reasons!